Kid ventures

Like most young people, both my kids enjoy building and creating things, and they often enthusiastically pursue various entrepreneurial projects. In the last few months, they’ve each launched a website featuring very different things.

Dual Blade Games

With dualbladegames.com, my son Alex unveiled his first publicly available video game, Testing Cube. Testing Cube has been called* “the greatest and most exhilarating new game of the last decade.” Check it out and you’ll see why. Keyboard recommended. People have been generous with feedback and if you have any ideas for him, he would enjoy hearing them.

Rhea’s Recipes

S'mores on a stick

Rhea has been baking up a storm for the last year or two and recently decided to start blogging her favorite recipes. S’mores on a stick (above) is her most recent addition and she’s adding new ones all the time. Her meringues are my favorite so far. If you visited the Botanical Garden Lights this holiday season and parked in our neighborhood, you may have walked by Rhea’s dessert stand. If so, you might have been wise enough to buy some of her delectable meringues. The wee desserts were a huge hit, and have been called* “a dazzlingly timeless reinterpretation of a classic favorite.”

Firewood

Firewood delivery. He left his helmet at a customer's house.
He left his helmet at a customer’s house.

Alex still finds time to sell firewood to anyone in Ansley Park or Sherwood Forest. He buys it in bulk from a tree care company, splits down the big logs to a good size for fireplaces, and delivers loads one bundle at a time via his bicycle. Rhea has picked up his marketing torch; she spun up a firewood order form and any sales that come via that form earn her a commission. So if you are getting cold this winter and live nearby, you know what to do!

* Called by me.

Passing the torch

luna
Luna, my GuildQuality co-founder, keeping an eye on things

Yesterday, I shared this on the GuildQuality blog and thought it appropriate to also post it here.

Sixteen years after GuildQuality’s launch, a decade after Mark Miles joined us to help build and lead the business, a bit more than a year following our sale to Providence Equity (wherein GuildQuality became part of the EverCommerce platform), and exactly one year after bringing Best Pick Reports and their team into our fold, Mark and I are pleased to be handing over the torch of leadership…. Read the complete post.

The Four Types of Decisions

Some members of our team (me included) were recently stuck on a decision, and that led to us getting stuck in a discussion vortex. After a couple weeks, we found ourselves scrambling to choose a path in the face of a looming deadline. We got it resolved, but that kerfuffle reminded me that there are always only four types of decisions.

From less to more involvement of team members, those decision types are:

1. Command – leader takes charge, asking no questions and just directing (mainly used in crisis);
2. Consultative – decision maker gets individual feedback from team members, then makes a decision;
3. Collaborative – team has a discussion, after which decision maker makes the call; and
4. Consensus – everyone has to agree or majority wins. This is only used for things like where to go to lunch.

90% of decisions are either #2 or #3. #1 through #3 require decision maker to be named before launching into the process.

Staying mindful of the four types is empowering for everyone who participates. When we aren’t mindful of which type of decision we’re making, frustrations can emerge. For example, people might think something is a consensus-driven decision, but others actually understand that it is really collaborative. Then people become upset because the decision maker simply made a decision without calling for a vote or without consensus being reached. But when we are mindful of the decision type, each person knows their role to play, and instead of trying to get their desired outcome, they are more apt to focus on fulfilling their role (giving thoughtful counsel).

Trust and a clear understanding of who is ultimately making the decision are big requirements for us to make good decisions and for everyone to feel good about the process. The participants need to trust the decision maker’s judgment, and also trust that the decision maker will thoughtfully consider their input.

Within a trusting team, choosing a decision maker is almost always easier than reaching agreement.

Thanks to Craig Johnson for introducing me to this idea.